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Design Principles to Keep in Mind For Trade Show Displays

Design Principles to Keep in Mind For Trade Show Displays

When designing trade show displays, it is very important to keep basic graphic design principles in mind. Effective event marketing that uses the fundamental rules of design can help elevate companies over their competition. Those who are considering exhibition marketing ideas would do well to remember that having a clean-looking, well-designed booth is an integral part of attracting customers to your company’s display.

To have trade show displays that are eye-catching and designed well, there are three major things that you need to consider: emphasis, balance, and unity.


Emphasis involves importance given to certain objects or areas of a piece of art; in this case, areas of trade show displays. A designer should stress only some of the visual elements of a piece, guiding the viewer’s eye to the areas of importance. This can be achieved through isolation, contrast, and placement.

Emphasis through isolation in exhibit marketing is achieved by setting one piece or element of your booth apart from the rest. Unique giveaway ideas might achieve this, since they can be set apart from the rest of your display. Additionally, if one element of the booth contrasts with the rest of the display, it will be emphasized. If your company’s colors are blue and yellow and the majority of your display is in blue tones, have a stunning yellow piece to attract attention. Emphasis by placement is achieved when one object is arranged so that other things in the composition point to it. Consider lining up smaller objects on your table to point toward a bigger, more central sign or product.


Balance refers to an equal distribution of weight, and in the design field, this refers to visual weight. We have all seen pieces of art or rooms that feel imbalanced; too much information or furniture on one side of the canvas or room can make the viewer feel uncomfortable.

With trade show booths, you must approach your booth design in the same way. The size, color, and shape of marketing materials and signage in your booth all contribute to the visual weight of your display. One way to achieve balance is to have more or less equally interesting things distributed throughout trade show displays. It wouldn’t make sense to stack flat flyers, business cards, and contact sheets at one end of your display, and have taller, more physical representations of your company’s products all on the other end. Instead, go for an even and balanced feel and intersperse these objects throughout your booth’s design.


It is important to have trade show displays be united with a common theme. Unity implies that all elements of the trade show booths look as though they belong together. An easy way to achieve this is through similar color choices and brand consistency. Your trade event marketing pieces should reflect the color scheme of your company. Make sure the overall feel of your exhibit matches the branding on your promotional products. It’s important to leave show attendees with a solid, consistent image of your company.

By applying these basic design principles to trade show displays, you will attract customers and ultimately increase your company’s ROI.


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